Practice Relating to Rule 82. Recording of the Placement of Landmines
In 2003, at the 5th Annual Conference of the States Parties to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the head of the Indian delegation stated:
India remains committed to full and effective implementation of the Amended Protocol II and has taken all the required measures to ensure the compliance with its provisions …
Mr. President, in India only the armed forces are permitted to use landmines. They have well- established Standard of Operation Procedures whereby minefields are laid along border areas as a part of military operations and are explicitly marked and fenced to prevent causalities to innocent civilians or grazing cattle. Mines had to be laid along our western border in 2002 and by last month, over 90 percent of mines laid had been recovered. The target of 100 percent recovery of all mines that have been laid will be achieved shortly.
In 2005, at the 7th Annual Conference of the States Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the head of the Indian delegation stated:
Our landmine policy authorizes the use of landmines exclusively by military formations. They have well established Standard Operating Procedures whereby minefields are laid, if required, along the border areas as part of military operations. These minefields are properly marked and fenced to prevent casualties to innocent civilians or grazing cattle. There is no minefield or mined area in any part of India’s interiors. India has never used mines for maintenance of internal order or in counter-terrorism operations, notwithstanding the gravest security challenges posed by terrorists. On their part, terrorists use improvised explosive devices against civilian targets with wanton indiscrimination.
Dissemination of information to the armed forces and enhancement of public awareness on anti-personnel landmines is an important part of my government’s policy. These measures include distribution of a booklet on India’s position on landmines and her obligations under AP II [the 1980 Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] to armed forces personnel, and including the subject in the syllabi of the military courses. The concerned government agencies interact on a regular basis with each other on the implementation of the provisions of AP II. A number of civil society organizations, strategic think tanks and the mass media have strengthened the government’s hand in increasing public awareness on the implementation of the provisions of AP II.
India supports measures undertaken by the States Parties for the universalization of AP II … I take this opportunity to urge those who have not done so to ratify the CCW Convention [1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] and its five protocols as soon as possible. My delegation looks forward to a useful exchange of views on the implementation of the Protocol, to which we have committed ourselves with the objective of securing a mine-free world.
In 2007, at the Ninth Annual Conference of the States Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the permanent representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament stated:
It would be appropriate at this Conference to provide details of India’s national implementation of Amended Protocol-II under specific heads.
Imparting information to the civilian population
• An integral part of our government’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties is to enhance public awareness on landmines, in particular anti-personnel landmines. The Indian army has disseminated information on mines laid along the border areas, as part of military operations, to the concerned civilians, besides placing warning signs at suitable locations. Mine awareness programmes in the relevant locations have also been conducted at the village level.
• Media representatives have been briefed by the Army to disseminate information on the preventive measures required to prevent civilian casualties resulting from exercises or operations.